Baroda’s Celebrations and Celebrities

Baroda is a city of famous festivals and celebration. The belief that the gods are continuously blessing the people in all aspects of their life remains intact. Truly, one visual proof is the rise of intellectuals and talents in the field of arts and sports. Some of the famous festivals they splendidly celebrate are attributed to their gods.

The first festival is Navrati. It is celebrated every October. The people dance raas and garba dances while musicians play traditional music. It is also known as barba and considered the largest festival here.

The second festival is Diwali. It is a five-day event held every October 13 to November 14. It is celebrated to honor the freedom and victory for Lord Ram of Ayodhya. The people decorate their homes with lights made of diyas. A diyas is a light formed within a stringed small clay pot with coconut oil. It is also known as deepavali of Festival of lights.

The third festival is Ganesh Chathurti. It is an eleven-day celebration between the months of August to September. The first day is called the Shukla Chathurti. The last day is the Anant Chathurti. It is held to commemorate the birth of Lord Ganesha. Ganesha is the elephant headed god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. During the celebration, the Lord Ganesha is worshipped through a lifesize image made of clay.

The image stands in platforms in front of homes or placed under outdoor tents. A priest performing chants as ritual leads the people. People offer red flowers, trefoil blades, rice flour, jaggery and coconut. It is also known as Vinayak Chathurti or Vinayaka Chavithi.

The fourth festival is the Uttarayan. It is a six-month occasion that happens in between January 14 to July 14. It commemorates the movement of the sun towards north and awaking of gods. People fly and engage in kite fights of various sizes from 9 inches to 3 feet. Women fly kites while men kite fights. Winners of the competition cheer “Kaypo Che” which means “I cut the kites.” The people also enjoy crunching on sesame and peanut bars.

Aside from the joyous festivals, the city has produced intellectual and talented individuals that continue to be the city’s pride. Some of the personalities are from the arts and sports.

The Baroda Cricket team is composed of the best players and bowlers that won many tournaments. They represent the city and have been awarded six time champions in the Ranji trophy. Some of its famous players are Hemu Adhikari, Amir Elahi, Gul Mohammad and Anshuman Gaekwad.

Inayat Khan Rahmat Khan Pathan is a famous icon on Indian music, poetry and religion. Academically he was excellent in both vocal and instrumental music. He was well versed in Karnatac and Hinduism music. He was blessed with a sonorous and unique voice. He is the grandson of Prof. Moula Bux, founder of Academy of Indian music.

He was able to composed religious songs and write music books. Some of the books he wrote are the Mingar Mousiquar, Stee Sayaji and Inayat Harmonium Shikshak. He traveled to other countries like US and Russia to promote Indian music.

Another group of famous people from Baroda are seven young and dynamic artists from M.S. University Baroda. The city known as the home of modern contemporary art has again produced the next Bhupen khakhars. Khakhar is an internationally acclaimed painter from Baroda.

This budding group is into pop art, kitsch, post- modern art and minimalist styles of artworks. They used textiles, pencil drawing, charcoal and ink as medium. The seven artists are Sandip Pisalkar, Shreyas karle, Boshudhara Mukherjee, Bhrigu Kr. Sharma, Bhavin Mistry, Nibha Santander and Swetha B.V.

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